26 September 2001 | cchase
3000 MILES??? You'll Be Pulling Over Before You Get Through Mile One...
It may have been amusing, even entertaining to see what John Frankenheimer, The Coen Brothers or Steven Soderbergh would've done to attempt to make this drippingly rancid sow's ear into a silk purse, (even if it were as imitation as the silk used in an Elvis impersonator's cape.) As it is, there's one abbreviated way to sum up the effect this movie will eventually have on a thinking, feeling filmgoer:
Take a camera. Point it at a ludicrously immense mound of compost or a heap of various kinds of manure. Take about thirty million dollars in cash, throw it on top of the crap. Douse it liberally with gasoline, nitro, toss in some dynamite and C-4. Light a match and throw it in.
The resulting explosion of waste products would probably be more engaging to watch than this entire film, and probably end up smelling a lot better, too. This is filmmaking at its absolute worst; irresponsibility bordering on the contemptuous, for the stars and those of its intended audience intelligent enough to be outraged by it. If this is the best the creative team responsible for this dreck felt they could do, maybe they should all retire from the business. Like yesterday.
Kurt Russell, who did a decent portrayal of Elvis in the TV biopic, nearly undoes all the good work he did before here. The only reason he doesn't come off as totally assinine, is because Kevin Costner steals THAT honor from him, without so much as breaking a sweat, or losing those atrocious fake sideburns. Take it from those of us who've been watching you, Kev...we all like actors who stretch and take risks. It's generally conceded that you need a change of pace to revitalize your career, but bubby, THESE kind of changes you don't need.
Maybe it's just me, but I thought I detected a few glimpses of near-embarassment from the supporting cast, regarding their brief appearances in this sorry excuse for an action film. Slater, Woodbine, Arquette, Cox, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Pollak and Thomas Haden Church are capable of doing much better work than this, and they have. They've also done some things I'm sure they've left off their resumes in recent times, but nothing THIS bad. Only Howie Long, taking a break from his Radio Shack commercials, seems to escape absolute shame in his brief cameo, and the young actor who plays Cox's juvenile brat of a son delivers what is possibly the best performance in this whole mess. As for Paul Anka...well, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Demian Lichtenstein is a former MTV video maven, and this shows in every frame. But does anyone have patience for an overlong music video masquerading as a sub-par "action dramedy?" If you seek to find the answer to that question, make sure that your local video store is running a two-fer special before you put this on the evening's itinerary.
BTW, there are better action movies you could watch that are so over-the-top, they're damn near enjoyable. THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and REMO WILLIAMS are two excellent examples. Or better still, go for Kurt one more time in the funky, junky, comic-book-extravagant BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Even seeing that flick for the nineteenth time is better than your initial viewing of this one.